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What Is This Blog? What Is Theology?

This is a blog devoted to reflection upon theology. However, as I shall soon make clear, a blog devoted to writing about theology is a blog that must be devoted to writing about everything.

Theology is a reverent and prayerful reflection upon God’s self-disclosure in revelation received in the bottomless depths of one’s silence in the Lord. Theology can only be done on one’s knees, in fear and trembling. The theologian is unique among intellectuals in that he cannot help but realize the intrinsically mysterious nature of his object of study, that is, God. What the theologian can say of God he humbly receives and in no case masters or commands. To speak of personal experience in theology is a gross error. Theology always begins with an attentive reception of God’s self-disclosure as pure gift: moments of authenticity should be remembered with horror. As Jean-Luc Marion says, “One must obtain forgiveness for every essay in theology.”

However, a strong emphasis on the centrality of revelation should not decay into Barthian fideism. Barth’s theology signals a double concession to the secular. First, in seeing the hegemony of a post-metaphysical Kantianism as an opportunity for theology to eschew any purely natural knowledge of God and become properly theological, Barth radicalizes the distinction between faith and reason rather than overcoming this duality which did not appear in the tradition prior to Duns Scotus. Barth wants theology to retreat into the realm of pure faith whereas the theologian should, in an apparently outrageous fit of temerity, have something to say about everything. The theologian’s relationship to secular intellectual disciplines is not one of Jesuitical credulity but of trenchant critic.

There exists no autonomous secular realm of pure reason apart from faith to which theology must be correlated. All reason is possible only as participation in the divine mind. Faith and reason are not irreconcilable opposites but different degrees of intensity of participation in the mind of God. Such an approach is articulated by Thomas Aquinas who, contrary to the belief of his neo-Thomist interpreters, is innocent of any sharp distinction between faith and reason or theology and philosophy.

This blog is devoted to violating the autonomy of the secular, with special emphasis on the political secular. There is no area of human life about which theology can afford to be silent. Hence, the tagline of this site: Dominus Regnat, The Lord reigns. He does not merely reign over his church or the souls of Christians in an apolitical and private way. Like all serious Christians I am, of course, a theocrat. That is, I recognize that He reigns over all.